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Long Term Evolution Users to Top 16 Million in 2011

Adoption of the next generation mobile technology Long Term Evolution (LTE) will reach 16 million subscribers by the end of 2011 according to a report on thinq_

The technology, which is sometimes erroneously called '4G' is gaining momentum around the world, with 12 countries so far operating commercial LTE services.

T-Mobile has Call & Surf Via Funk service in Germany, NTT DoCoMo has Xi service in Japan and even emerging markets like Uzbekistan have LTE offerings, courtesy of TeliaSonera and UCell.

As of March 2011 there are 100 LTE-ready devices on the market, according to Global Mobile Suppliers Association figures. 205 million LTE devices are expected to ship in 2014.

ABI Research said that smartphones are key to the success of LTE, which makes the shift to 4G different than that of 3G. Currently only 13 per cent of LTE-ready devices are smartphones or tablets, but this is expected to change dramatically over the coming years.